The foreigner challenge is a TikTok trend that appeared in April 2020, according to multiple users of the platform. References to the challenge began on YouTube, Twitter and Reddit during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Urban Dictionary, the challenge involves minor males and females posting sexually explicit videos of themselves with the song “Foreigner” by rapper Pop Smoke playing in the background.
Social Media Accounts Began Complaining About The Foreigner Challenge on April 22
Heavy has reached out to TikTok’s public relations department in order to determine if the foreigner challenge is real. A spokesperson for the company said they were looking into the trend but did not confirm if it was real.
A section labeled “Safety” on TikTok’s website reads: “As a global community that thrives on creativity and expression, it’s important that users feel safe and comfortable in this community. Our policies and tools are developed to promote a positive and safe environment for our community, and we trust that users will respect and utilize these measures to keep TikTok fun and welcoming for everyone.”
TikTok star Drama Kween posted a video detailing what she knows about the foreigner challenge.
Two Reddit threads were started on the foreigner challenge, the first on April 26 and the second on April 28, in order to draw attention to the controversy. There are tweets mentioning the foreigner challenge going back to April 22.
The Song ‘Foreigner’ Has Been Described as Being ‘Slow-Moving Anthem’ About ‘Lavish & Expensive Foreign Items’
Rapper Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot dead on February 19, 2020. He was 20 years old. Jackson was shot after four assailants entered the home he was renting in the Hollywood Hills around 4:30 a.m. He was wounded multiple times. At the time of writing, no arrests have been made in the killing.
For the song “Foreigner,” “Pop Smoke recruits A Boogie wit da Hoodie for a slow-moving anthem in which they boast about their lavish and expensive foreign items. They drop references to world-renowned brands including Lamborghinis, Mike Amiris, and Christian Dior to flex their wealth,” according to Genius.com. The song was released on February 7, 2020.
This Is Not the First Scandal Involving TikTok During the Coronavirus Quarantine
This is not the first scandal to impact TikTok in April 2020. A week before the foreigner challenge became a social media trend, TikTok star Emmuhlu publicly apologized after a video showing her repeatedly using a racial slur went viral. In the wake of the scandal, Emmuhlu deleted all of her social media profiles aside from her TikTok page.
Another controversy to hit the platform involved celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and his alleged bullying of 15-year-old TikTok star Charli D’Amelio. That scandal resulted in a petition demanding that Hilton be removed from TikTok.
During the coronavirus quarantine, TikTok has been associated with multiple positive videos, including seniors at an Iowa retirement home going viral for their dance and the hosting of a virtual prom celebration for high school seniors.
TikTok Added More Than 12 Million Users in March 2020
On April 9, TikTok president Alex Zhu pledged that the company would donate $250 million to coronavirus relief efforts. Zhu said in his press release that the money would go to “front line medical workers, educators, and local communities deeply affected by the global crisis.”
eMarketer reported on April 28 that TikTok added more than 12 million unique users to their platform in March 2020. The website cited numbers from Comscore in their report. Between January and March 2020, TikTok’s unique users climbed by nearly 50%.